Gail J. McGovern

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Gail McGovern
President of the American Red Cross
Assumed office
23 June 2008
President George W. Bush (2008-2009)
Barack Obama (2009–2017)
Donald Trump (2017–present)
Preceded by Bonnie Hunter
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 64–65)
Springfield, New Jersey, U.S
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University
Columbia Business School

Gail J. McGovern (born 1952) is an American business person, who became President and CEO of the American Red Cross on June 23, 2008. McGovern held top management positions at AT&T Corporation and Fidelity Investments. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University and the Board of Directors of DTE Energy.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1952 and raised as Gail J. Rosenberg in Springfield, New Jersey. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in quantitative sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1974[2] and an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1987.[2]


She began at AT&T Corporation as a programmer and also worked in sales, marketing and management.[2] Eventually she became the executive vice president of the consumer markets division, the largest business unit, responsible for $26 billion in residential long distance service.[2] She held this role from 1997 to 1998.[3]

She joined Fidelity Investments in September 1998 as president of distribution and services.[2][3] Her department served 4 million customers with $500 billion in assets.[2]

She was recognized by Fortune magazine in 2000 and 2001 as one of the top 50 most powerful women in corporate America.[2]

She joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in June 2002 where she taught marketing and consumer marketing to first and second year students.[2][3] McGovern was an adjunct faculty of the Harvard Business School.

She assumed the role of president and CEO of the American Red Cross on June 23, 2008,[2] replacing Mark W. Everson, a former IRS commissioner and becoming the seventh chief in seven years.[4] In June she joined a delegation of 30 community leaders organized by the United States Agency for International Development to visit China and those affected by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[5] The focus of her work at the Red Cross has been to improve the image of the Red Cross brand and thereby increase donations.[4]

In 2015 McGovern became embroiled in a controversy, after writing a letter to congressman Bennie Thompson, which appeared to be an attempt to quash a congressional investigation into the Red Cross's dealing with the federal government during its disaster relief work.[6]


She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter. She has three children, Matthew McGovern, Justin McGovern, and Annie McGovern. She also has two grandchildren named Chelsea and Ryan McGovern. Both of which are born to Matthew. [2]


  1. ^ "Muckety Listing". Muckety LLC. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Gail J. McGovern Biography" (Press release). The American Red Cross. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2009-01-22. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Forbes Profile". LLC. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  4. ^ a b Rucker, Philip (2008-09-12). "Red Cross CEO's 'Trial by Hurricane'". Washington Post. p. B01. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  5. ^ "China Earthquake Update: New President Gail J. McGovern Visits Affected Region". Red Cross Chat. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  6. ^ Sullivan, Laura (17 August 2015). "In Private Letter, Red Cross Tried To End Government Inquiry". NPR. Retrieved 17 August 2015.